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Guide to All Things Japanese
Wednesday October 28th 2020

Dumb & Dumber

traffic jamSome of you will recall my earlier blog post about the DPJ defeating the LDP in the recent election.  In that post I said something to the effect of “we will have to wait and see if the DPJ ends up being any better than the LDP.”  Well if the past few days are any indication that question is still very much up in the air. 

On the one-hand, you have DPJ’s Ozawa making a statement that he intends to take a bill to the Diet that would grant limited voting rights to non-Japanese residents of Japan.  Great, way to go, absolutely!

However, do not get too happy yet, because on the other hand you have the new Japanese Prime Minister (DPJ’s Hatoyama) making some pretty contradictory and silly statements. 

In his DPJ Manifesto (see here  or here for an English copy) Hatoyama promised to eliminate highway tolls.  On its face eliminating these tolls sounds like a great idea.  But look further.  By eliminating the tolls  more and more people would be driving on the highways because they don’t have to pay a toll.  Now, hold that thought, because just the other day in New York Hatoyama promised that Japan would reduce CO2 emissions by 25%.  Umm, excuse me Mr. Pigeon Mountain man (unnecessary jab at his name .. sorry, couldn’t resist)  but how is Japan going to reduce CO2 by 25% when more and more people are driving cars, thanks to the highway tolls being eliminated?

Let’s face it, the news has been full of stories about the incredible traffic jams that have been happening almost every weekend since April when the government lowered the cost of highway tolls on weekends (see picture above).  Now, just imagine if the Tomei expressway was like that everyday … yeah 25% reduction in CO2 emissions RIGGHHT.

reducing CO2 emissions by 25% is a fantastic idea, let’s do it.  And eliminating the highway tolls isn’t an overtly bad idea, but it’s the simple fact that Hatoyama is already walking around at this early stage making such blatantly contradictory statements that worries me.  I’m getting a bad feeling about this guy’s level of intelligence already.

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